Call to Artists
Finalists' Images and Public Comments for Contrabands and Freedmen's Cemetery Public Art Project
The Selection Panel for the Contrabands and Freedmen’s Cemetery Public Art Project is pleased to announce the artists who have been invited to submit design proposals for the sculpture. Congratulations to Erik Blome of Crystal Lake, Illinois; Mario Chiodo of Oakland, California; and Edward Dwight of Denver, Colorado. Each artist will receive an honorarium of $2,000 to develop final proposals. The artists will present their proposals to the Selection Panel in early July. The public will be invited to a reception to meet the artists and view the proposals. Following the reception, the models will be on display for at least two weeks to provide opportunity for additional public comments at a location to be announced. The goal is to have the recommended finalist presented to City Council in September.
In 2008, a design competition was held for the Contrabands and Freedmen's Cemetery Memorial. The winning design, by Alexandria architect C. J. Howard, was used as the framework for the detailed site design by AECOM, Inc. During the selection process, the Selection Committee recommended that a sculpture be added to the winning design. The current Call to Artists is for this public artwork that will be included as part of the overall Memorial.
The City of Alexandria seeks to commission public art for the reclaimed Contrabands and Freedmen’s Cemetery Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia. The process will be managed by the Office of the Arts, a division of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, with the Alexandria Commission for the Arts' Public Art Committee. The City will conduct the search for qualified applicants through a Request for Qualifications.
The purpose of the public art is to educate visitors to the cemetery about the courageous struggles of the thousands of contrabands* and freedmen who sought refuge in Alexandria. The artwork shall be sculptural and serve as part of the memorial to the freed and escaped slaves and the children buried in the cemetery and as a symbol of our respect for those who did not live long in freedom. The bronze sculpture will be located inside the cemetery and will stand as a reminder to generations that the struggle for freedom, and the people who fought for it, will not be forgotten again.
It is important that applicants learn about the freedmen, their history and experiences and convey that knowledge through their application. The commissioned artist should expect to communicate with the public, including descendant families, to inform the final design. Please review this web site carefully, paying particular attention to the History section.
Download a pdf of the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) - Issued August 19, 2011
Deadline for Submission Has Passed
Eligibility: Open to all artists or design groups. No geographic requirements.
Anticipated Award Date: September 2012
Anticipated Installation Date: Spring 2013
* Contraband was a term used by the federal government during the American Civil War referring to a slave who escaped to or was brought within the Union lines while freedmen was a term used referring to individuals who had been freed from slavery.